WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Saturday, October 14, 2017, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) was targeted by members of a white supremacist group who attempted to hang a banner on the façade of our building in Washington, DC, decrying the Dreamer movement in the name of “Identity Evropa.” A witness confronted two trespassers, causing them to flee. With help from additional bystanders, the banner was removed and the crime was reported to the police. AILA will work with local police to review footage from external security cameras in an effort to identify those involved.
Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director, stated: “For more than 70 years, AILA and its members have fought against xenophobia and advocated for laws and policies that honor America’s proud history as a nation of immigrants. Sadly, there has been a dramatic and disturbing increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric and racially charged scapegoating and stereotyping of immigrants. Too many politicians seem willing to pander to this kind of fear and hatred and too few are willing to stand up against it. In this environment our mission and the work of our members have never been more important. This incident comes on the heels of inflammatory and derogatory statements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions towards immigrants, asylum seekers, and the attorneys that represent them. The Attorney General’s remarks were irresponsible and wrong. However, AILA and its members will not be deterred or distracted from our work and our mission to stand by America’s immigrants and to advocate for fair and just immigration laws and policies, by those who peddle fear and hatred. Not today, not ever.”
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.